A Foodie’s Guide to Ericeira, Portugal

When I told people I was planning to live in Ericeira for a month or so, I either got a blank look or a puzzled one. Many people had never heard of this small Portuguese town, easily overshadowed by its flashy neighbours, Lisbon and Sintra. Others asked if I was a surfer (I’m not) or wondered out loud whether Ericeira isn’t rather a young person’s place (who are you calling old?). So by the time I arrived – having watched a total of 30 seconds on YouTube about Ericeira being a great place for digital nomads – my expectations were muted, to say the least. Little did the naysayers know that Ericeira has a lot more to offer than seven signature waves (fun fact that I learned at the World Surfing Reserve interpretation centre). In reality, its labyrinth of cobbled streets – all lined with blue and white buildings covered in bright Bougainvillea – are home to pristine tiled chapels, boutique not-a-chain-in-sight shops, and (of course) dozens of delicious restaurants. In fact, for a city with a population of only around 12,000, Ericeira punches well above its weight when it comes to dining out. And its location at the edge of the Lisboa wine region means it’s a mecca for wine lovers as well.

For these and many other reasons, I fell a little bit in love with Ericeira during my six weeks in Portugal… I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but when I am, these are the restaurants and cafes in Ericeira that I’ll be visiting.

Travel to, from and around Ericeira

Before you can start eating, you’re going to need to get to Ericeira – which is helpfully only about a 45-minute drive from Lisbon. There are direct flights to Lisbon with Portuguese airline TAP Air Portugal, Dutch airline KLM, UK airline British Airways, Spanish airline Iberia and German airline Lufthansa, as well as low-cost airlines like Vueling, easyJet and Transavia. You can compare times and prices among all airlines on sites like Skyscanner, Expedia and GoEuro. From Lisbon, there are public buses that run from Campo Grande terminal to Ericeira bus station (Terminal Rodoviário) and take around an hour. From the bus station in Ericeira, it’s about a 1.5 km walk downhill to the centre of town and the nearest beach. However, for more flexibility to explore the region and visit the more remote beaches, I’d recommend renting a car at Lisbon airport for the duration of your stay.

Portuguese pastries in Ericeira

It seems that every Portuguese city has its own speciality when it comes to sweet treats. And in Ericeira, that speciality is the ouriço – which holds the same mythical status as the pastel de nata does in Belém. You’ll see them sold in bakeries and shops all over the city, but not all ouriços are created equal (the same can of course be said for pasteis de nata) so I’ve focused only on the cream of the cake crop.

Casa da Fernanda

Overlooking the ocean above Praia dos Pescadores, Casa da Fernanda was recommended to me by our landlord – and for good reason. While their ouriços might look like basic cupcakes, in fact they’re anything but: crispy on the outside, extremely moist (almost crumpet-textured?) in the middle, with a citrusy, buttery, vanilla flavour that’s unforgettable. Order one with your morning coffee and prepare for the sugar rush.

Ouriços are to Ericeira what pasteis de nata are to Belém

O Pãozinho das Marias

For pastel de nata fans, fear not – there are plenty available in Ericeira, too. We found the best version comes from a bakery and café called O Pãozinho das Marias, which has two locations in Ericeira – one on the main square (Praça da República) and one to the north of the town centre. If you’re lucky, your nata will come warm and wobbling, with that inimitable crunch as you bite into the layered, flaky pastry.

The best pasteis de nata come from O Pãozinho das Marias

Croissant da Vila

The Ericeirans love their croissants, too – the Portuguese version being somewhat different from their French counterparts. Flavour-wise, they’re closer to sweet brioche, but rolled into a croissant shape and topped with a sugary glaze. At Croissant da Vila on Largo dos Condes, they come with any number of fillings – both sweet and savoury. Think smoked salmon and cream cheese, or salted caramel and chocolate. There’s even a KitKat version! French purists may have trouble getting used to them, but for the rest of us they’re a stomach-filling, wallet-saving breakfast.

Fish restaurants in Ericeira

That’s breakfast out of the way. Let’s move onto lunch. Which in Ericeira, often means one thing: fish and seafood! Hardly surprising, when you consider that this tiny metropolis stretches along 4 kilometres of coastline and you can see the fishing boats lined up at Praia dos Pescadores. In other words, the catch couldn’t be fresher. For that reason alone, it’s pretty hard to go wrong when it comes to seafood in Ericeira, but here are a few of my favourite fish restaurants nonetheless:

Marisqueira Mar à Vista

When you walk into Mar à Vista, you’re asked (repeatedly) “only seafood – no fish, no meat – ok?”. I guess they’ve been burned by some unhappy customers in the past. Our landlord had recommended the seafood rice here, and who was I to argue? It came absolutely laden with lobster (plus clams, mussels and the like) – quite the treat when you come from a country where that much lobster would require a second mortgage. The rice itself I found slightly gloopy compared with other seafood rice we tried, but I’d go back for the lobster alone.

Seafood rice, laden with lobster, at Mar à Vista


If you prefer actual scaly fish (as opposed to shellfish), I can highly recommend Canastra for a traditional, white-tablecloth kind of meal. If it’s sunny (and it frequently is in Ericeira), take a table outside on the clifftop, overlooking the Atlantic, while the chefs prepare your pick from the catch of the day. We couldn’t get enough of the red snapper, served simply grilled with potatoes, vegetables and açorda (a sort of savoury bread pudding that’s a Portuguese speciality). Prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and service is worth the price tag.

Mar d’Areia

For a lower budget version of the same experience, follow the locals and head to Mar d’Areia. Located inland, so without those high-value views, the fish is just as fresh and the service just as friendly. We got the snapper (again – it became a favourite over the period we were there) and the sea bream, both of which were charcoal-grilled to just-cooked perfection. The veggies were a little more basic, as was the tableware, but then again so were the prices.

O Pescador (Ribamar)

A couple of kilometres north of Ericeira you’ll come to the little village of Ribamar. You can walk there if you’re feeling energetic, but you might want to drive or take a taxi home afterwards. There are a couple of casual, local restaurants in the village, of which we only had time to visit one: O Pescador (literally translating as “the fisherman”). Their terrace is on the opposite side of the road from the kitchen, and is a serene, white-walled spot covered in trailing dog roses and climbing rosemary. We ordered a plate of cooked shrimp to start, which took me straight back to peeling prawns in Cornwall as a kid.

Shrimp-tastic O Pescador

Next, I got the grilled octopus, while Mr Foodie opted for the seafood rice – this time, topped with masses of shrimp and studded with crab shells. While the crab was a little hard to eat, the broth that surrounded the rice was perfect in fishy flavour and consistency. O Pescador happened to be our last seafood dinner in Ericeira, and I’ll carry fond memories of it for years to come.

Budget eats in Ericeira

If you’re coming from northern Europe, most of Portugal’s restaurants will feel pretty affordable compared with what you’re used to. But if you’re on a strict budget, you might want to be more discerning when deciding where to eat. One deliciously low-cost lunch is pão com choriço – warm bread dough stuffed with choriço sausage and (often) cheese, that’s sold from small stalls and food trucks by the side of the roads throughout the region. We tried the pão com choriço from Celeste Alecrim on the road to Carvoeira (around 6 kilometres from Ericeira, with stunning views over the rolling hills) and it kept us sated for hours. The truck also had a queue of people lining up every time we drove past, so I’m pretty sure it’s a local favourite!

Taberna Lebre

For another budget lunch option, you can’t go wrong with a prego sandwich – a thin steak, marinated in garlic, fried and served in a bread roll, often with a few other toppings like an egg or cheese. Once again recommended to us by our landlord, my favourite came from Taberna Lebre in the centre of town, where they turn out excellent value prego sandwiches with a whole range of extra fillings (I recommend the pickles). For under €5, you can’t go wrong.

Prego com pickles at Taberna Lebre

Tasquinha do Joy

With its red and white checked tablecloths, Tasquinha do Joy is a simple, down-to-earth restaurant with tables spilling out onto the pavement – perfect for watching the sunset, or the people go by. Everything comes in terracotta tableware, including the good-value vinho verde, while some of the dishes are even served in an upturned rooftile – an iconic element of Ericeira’s architecture. We tried the octopus and potatoes (in the aforementioned roof tile), which came swimming in olive oil and garlic, and the Iberico pork cutlet. Portions were beyond generous, and we still only paid €30 for two.

O Gafanhoto

Translating as “the grasshopper”, O Gafanhoto combines old and new with its traditional dishes displayed on a (wait for it) 3D menu! It’s perhaps a bit of a gimmick, but you can use your phone to project an image of each dish directly onto your table. Those who prefer their menus old-school needn’t worry, however – there’s a hand-written menu outside, plus daily specials for each day of the week with pictures to show what you’re getting. So what did we order? The daily special on the Wednesday we visited was a broad bean stew with pork ribs and sausage, which was utterly delicious and very good value at €12.50 (it was huge). A bottle of good red wine was around the same price, though there were many bottles that cost far less. And the service was as friendly as the prices.

Broad bean and pork stew: the daily special at O Gafanhoto

Ericeira restaurants for a special occasion

If you have a little more to spend, or have been saving up for a special occasion, these Ericeira eateries offer some serious bang for your buck. As mentioned above, they’re still a steal compared with northern Europe, but these are pricier propositions by Portuguese standards.


Our landlord told us we must try Avó at least once. And (no surprises here) we loved it so much we went back for second helpings. Half the menu is on the traditional side, while the other half is a little more playful – changing regularly depending on what’s in season. The first time we ate there, we started with the pork cheek sandwich, which was perhaps the Platonic ideal of sandwiches: succulent and savoury pork, peppery watercress and bread with the perfect bite. Mr Foodie then ordered the duck rice, which was so good I got it all to myself when we went back: rare duck breast atop umami-rich rice that absolutely nailed the texture. It’s hard to order anything else when the duck rice is that good, but I also enjoyed my rack of lamb with choriço and fresh peas, as well as the beef cheek croquettes with apple purée. The wine list is well curated, the interior cosy yet modern, and the service attentive and friendly. I can’t recommend Avó highly enough.

Legendary duck rice at Avó

Mar das Latas

Another top tip for wine enthusiasts is Mar das Latas – wine bar on one side, full-blown restaurant on the other. Its elegant interior makes it possibly the fanciest place in Ericiera (although I’m pretty sure I still saw diners in surfing gear) and its extensive selection of Portuguese wines are unbeatable. Wine tip: try the Quinta do Sobreiró de Cima Reserva from Trás-os-Montes for an excellent value red blend from the Douro region.

Sharing plates and top-notch wines at Mar das Latas

On the food front, sharing plates include fusion fare like fried shrimp with siracha, peanut and lime; smoked carrot with whipped feta and macadamia; and tuna crudo with fennel, orange and ponzu. But there are also more traditional dishes on offer, like the ubiquitous beef cheek croquettes, Bacalhau à Brás (salt cod with egg and fried sticks of potato), and pork rice. With all that and more, we still spent less than €50 each.

Tik Tapas / Tik Tak

Something of an Ericeira institution, everyone raves about Tik Tak and its sister restaurant, Tik Tapas. And unsurprisingly, the clue is in the title: Tik Tapas serves small sharing dishes whereas Tik Tak focuses on full meals. Because I’m greedy and want to try everything, I preferred the tapas location, where we sat outside on the heated terrace ordering round after round of Portuguese plates, washed down with plenty of Alentejo wine. We worked our way through everything from stuffed squid and octopus salad on the fish side of the menu, to pica-pau (fried beef strips in a boozy jus), alheira (a type of sausage) and garlic steak on the meat side of the menu. A perfect Friday night.

Tapas, Portuguese-style, at Tik Tapas

Feijoca Portuguesa – O Sabor Da Serra Da Estrela

Ericeira is (for obvious reasons) known for its fish and seafood. But if you want to try some typical dishes from the interior of Portugal, you’re in luck. Around 5 kilometres east of Ericeira, along the road heading towards Mafra, you’ll reach a restaurant with a very long but highly descriptive name: Feijoca Portuguesa – O Sabor Da Serra Da Estrela. If translated, it tells you exactly what you’ll find there: the famous dish of butter beans with pork (Feijoca Portuguesa) along with a taste of Serra Da Estrela – the highest mountain range in Portugal.

Feijoca Portuguesa

Owner and chef Paulo went above and beyond to accommodate us, and we loved everything we ate – from the Feijoca Portuguesa itself to the Arroz de Carqueja com entrecosto (rice with stewed beef entrecote and a unique medicinal herb known as carqueja). Not to mention the various Portuguese sausages and cheeses served with a sweet and spicy pepper jam, and the fantastically quaffable Touriga Nacional from Paulo’s own wine production. We were so full by the end of dinner that Mr Foodie skipped both breakfast and lunch the following day!

International eats in Ericeira

If you’ve had enough of grilled fish, seafood stews and duck rice, you might be looking for something a little more international to mix up your diet while in Portugal. From Japanese sushi to American BBQ, and from Middle Eastern mezze to Italian pizza, you won’t be confined to Portuguese food when visiting Ericeira.


I loved Balagan, overlooking Praia do Sul, not only for its gourmet kebabs and flavoursome mezze dishes, but also for its elegant roof terrace and blue-sky views. Balagan is also one of the few places in Ericeira that caters really well to vegetarians and vegans, with its roasted cauliflower, curried hummus, smoky aubergine, caponata and Caesar salad. But there’s plenty for pescatarians and meat eaters too. Upstairs, order a bottle of chilled bubbles or rosé and settle in for a leisurely lunch. Downstairs, order a coffee and get some work done at the communal remote working table. Either way, you can’t find a better beachside location.

Lunch with a view at Balagan’s rooftop restaurant

Uni Sushi

Given the insanely fresh fish caught daily from Ericeira’s coastline, it’s hardly surprisingly that sushi is well represented here. Our favourite came from Uni Sushi, on Largo dos Condes, with its modern interior and sheltered outdoor terrace. We tried a whole bunch of Uni’s uramaki, from rainbow rolls to soft shell crab and fish eggs to salmon and mango, as well as the kimutchi (spicy salmon and tuna tartare) and the Midori rolls (flambé white fish with avocado and fried leek). All were excellent, and good value to boot.

Creative uramaki at Uni Sushi


For a higher end sushi experience, go round the corner to Onegai, reputed to be the best in town. While their fish was excellent quality, their rice well crafted and their sushi perfectly prepared, it was less creative than Uni Sushi and higher priced. Whether you prefer Onegai or Uni Sushi will probably come down to whether you’re more or less of a purist when it comes to sushi.

Onegai’s sushi selection

Botão (Carvoeira)

Would I expect to find top-notch American BBQ at a roadside café in the tiny village of Carvoeira, just outside Ericeira? No, I would not – but Portugal never ceases to amaze me! Botão is known for its melt-in-the-mouth pork ribs, falling-apart pastrami and succulent pulled pork burgers. But they also brew their own craft beers (try my personal favourite, the brown ale) and do an excellent line in loaded, cheesy fries and tangy, creamy coleslaw. Holy smokes, it’s all so good!

Real-deal BBQ at Botão

Pepe Verde

There are some moments (read: hangover days) when only pizza will do. And for those days, there’s Pepe Verde – serving up Neapolitan-style pizza in the centre of town. I only got to try the Tavullia pizza, topped with pumpkin purée, spicy salami, caramelised onions and smoked cheese, but the crust was properly fluffy and the toppings were generous and full of sweet-savoury flavour.

Coffee and brunch in Ericeira

I found coffee almost everywhere in Ericeira to be decent and extremely affordable: my coffee of choice (an espresso with a splash of milk – known in Portugal as um café pingado) cost between 70 cents and a euro. However, for specialty brews like flat whites and iced coffees, head to Dear Rose Café or Sunset Bamboo. You’ll pay more, but you can sit with your laptop and get some work done while you sip on your café.

The brunch scene has not entirely reached Ericeira yet, but there are a few options for those seeking international brunch dishes rather than Portuguese pastries. Villa Brunch Café serves a good toast loaded with avocado cream, smoked salmon and a fried egg. While GiG (which stands for Green is Good) offers brunchtime staples like eggs Benedict. I didn’t make it to the aptly named Brunch Me while I was in Ericeira, but their menu looked tasty as well.

Bars in Ericeira

I must admit that we did not drink in a whole lot of places that are exclusively bars – almost everywhere we went served food as well. But there were a couple of bars I wanted to mention that don’t fall into any other restaurant category, so here goes.

Beer lovers will enjoy 5 e Meio Taproom: a modern beer bar serving eight local craft beers on tap, from a hoppy, citrusy IPA to a malty, caramelised Tripel (although my favourite was the red ale, which fell somewhere in between in terms of flavour profile). I promised you this was a proper drinking establishment, but 5 e Meio does serve bar snacks as well: we tried their beef croquettes and chicken fingers (both spot-hitting) but they have bigger dishes like meaty sandwiches and loaded fries, too. A well curated selection to match a perfectly balanced red ale.

IPA, sour ale and cute dog at 5 e Meio Taproom

If you prefer an after-dinner cocktail, head to Hemingway’s Bar where the drinks are as strong as you’d expect for a bar named after the legendary writer-cum-alcoholic. I ordered a Negroni and (amazingly) stopped after just one. Which should tell you something.

Planning a trip to Portugal? Check out my foodie guides to Porto and Madeira as well!


you might also like these foodie travels...

Douro Valley self-guided wine tour from Porto

A Wine Lover’s Guide to the Algarve

This site uses cookies, in accordance with the Privacy Policy. OK, get rid of this notice.